Call for NE rail investment

North East Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes welcomed the recent announcement of rail investment for the Central Belt but contrasted that with the lack of progress in the Aberdeen area.

She said: “The North East has been the poor relation of rail investment since the SNP moved into government. The only real bright spot has been the re-opening of Laurencekirk railway station, and that was thanks to the previous Liberal Democrat-Labour government.

“The SNP has promised much but delivered little. Some extra trains travelling north from Aberdeen to Inverurie, but that’s about it. We are the poor relations when it comes to rail investment. When will progress be made with upgrading the Aberdeen-Inverness line, re-opening Kintore and Newtonhill railway stations, more trains at Portlethen and Stonehaven, and so on?”

Commenting on the Transport Minister’s announcement of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said: “On a local level, the improvements to Edinburgh and Glasgow rail provision are welcome. The all-round boost for electrification, journey times and connectivity will go some way to bringing rail provision into the 21st century for Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“But I find it extremely disappointing that the Transport Minister has chosen to interpret the Edinburgh Glasgow improvement programme literally. This was a major opportunity to improve the rail experience for the whole of central Scotland.

“The Transport Minister promised additional capacity for Fife and the North East of Scotland, half hourly services between Alloa and Glasgow and reduced journey times between Dunblane and Edinburgh. There has been no confirmation of this in his statement. Those who live and work outside of Edinburgh and Glasgow deserve the same standards of rail provision.”